Zoey is finally home where she belongs, safe with her Guardian Warrior, Stark, by her side, and preparing to face off against Neferet – which would be a whole lot easier if the High Counsel saw the ex-High Priestess for what she really is. Kalona has released his hold on Rephaim, and, through Nyx's gift of a human form, Rephaim and Stevie Rae are finally able to be together – as long as he can truly walk the path of the Goddess and stay free of his father's shadow…
But there are new forces at work at the House of Night. An influx of humans, including Lenobia's handsome horse whisperer, threatens their precarious stability. And then there's the mysterious Aurox, a jaw-droppingly gorgeous teen boy who is actually more – or possibly less – than human. Only Neferet knows he was created to be her greatest weapon. But Zoey can sense the part of his soul that remains human, the compassion that wars with his Dark calling. And there's something strangely familiar about him…
Will Neferet's true nature be revealed before she succeeds in silencing them all? And will Zoey be able to touch Aurox's humanity in time to protect him – and everyone – from his own fate? Find out what's destined in the thrilling ninth chapter of the P.C. Cast and Kristin Cast's House of Night series.
About the Author
#1 New York Times and USA Today bestselling author P.C. CAST is an award-winning fantasy and paranormal romance writer, as well as an experienced speaker and teacher. Her novels have been awarded YALSA Quick Picks for Reluctant Young Adult Readers, and have received the prestigious Oklahoma Book Award, as well as the PRISM, Daphne du Maurier, Booksellers Best, Holt Medallion, Beacon, Romantic Times Reviewer's Choice, and Affaire de Coeur awards. She lives in Oklahoma with lots of dogs, cats, horses, and a burro. KRISTIN CAST is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author who teams up with her mother to write the House of Night series. She has stories in several anthologies, as well as editorial credits. Currently Kristin is working on her first stand-alone novel, a dark, mysterious fairy tale.
Read an Excerpt
DESTINED. (Chapter 1)
The human male’s flesh had been soft, pulpy.
It had been a surprise how easy it had been to destroy him—to end the beating of his feeble heart.
“Take me to North Tulsa. I want to go out into the night,” she’d said. That was the command that began their evening.
“Yes, Goddess,” he’d responded instantly, coming alive from the corner of the rooftop balcony that he’d made his own.
“Do not call me Goddess. Call me…” She’d looked contemplative. “… Priestess.” Her full lips, slick and reddened, turned up. “I believe it is best if everyone should simply call me Priestess—at least for a short while.”
Aurox had fisted his hand over his heart in a gesture he instinctively knew was ancient, though it somehow felt awkward and forced. “Yes, Priestess.”
Priestess had brushed by him, gesturing imperiously for him to follow her.
He had followed.
He’d been created to follow. To take her orders. To obey her commands.
They’d entered something Priestess had called car, and the world had flown. Priestess had commanded him to understand the workings of it.
He’d watched and learned, just as she’d commanded.
Then they’d stopped and exited the car.
The street had smelled of death and rot, corruption and filth.
“Priestess this place is not—”
“Protect me!” she’d snapped. “But do not be protective of me. I will always go where I wish, when I wish, and do exactly what I wish. It is your job, no, your purpose to defeat my enemies. It is my destiny to create enemies. Watch. React when I command you to protect. That is all I require of you.”
“Yes, Priestess,” he’d said.
The modern world was a confusing place. So many shifting sounds. So much he did not know. He would do as Priestess commanded. He would fulfill his reason for creation and—
A male had stepped out, blocking Priestess’s way.
“You way too pretty to be in this here alley so late with nothin’ but one boy keepin’ ya company.” His eyes widened, as he took in Priestess’s tattoos. “So, vampyre, you stoppin’ here to get you a little snack from this boy? How ’bout you give me that purse then you and me, we’ll talk ’bout what it’s like to be with a real man?”
Priestess sighed and sounded bored. “You’re wrong on both counts: I am not simply a vampyre, and this is no boy.”
“Hey, what you mean by that?”
Priestess ignored the man and looked over her shoulder at Aurox.
“Now you should protect me. Show me what kind of weapon I command.”
He obeyed her without conscious thought. Aurox closed on the man with no hesitation. In one swift movement, Aurox plunged his thumbs into the man’s staring eyeballs, which made the screaming begin.
The man’s terror washed over him, feeding him. As simply as drawing a breath, Aurox inhaled the pain he was causing. The power of the man’s terror swelled through him, pumping hot and cold. Aurox felt his hands hardening, changing, becoming more. What had been normal fingers became claws. He pulled them from the man’s eyes when the blood began to seep from his ears. With the borrowed power of pain and fear, Aurox lifted the man, slamming him against the wall of the nearest building.
The man screamed again.
What a wonderful, terrible thrill! Aurox felt more of the change ripple through his body. Mere human feet became cloven hooves. The muscles of his legs thickened. His chest heaved and split the shirt he had been wearing. And most wonderful of all, Aurox felt the thick deadly horns that swelled from his head.
By the time the man’s three friends ran into the alley to help him, he had stopped screaming.
Aurox dropped the man to the filth and turned to place himself between Priestess and those who might believe they could cause her harm.
“What the fuck?” The first man skidded to a halt.
“I ain’t never seen nothin’ like that,” said the second man.
Aurox was already absorbing the fear that was beginning to radiate from them. His skin pulsed with the cold fire of it.
“Is they horns? Ah, hell no! I’m outta here.” The third man turned and scurried back the way he had come. The other two began to back slowly away, eyes wide, shocked and staring.
Aurox looked to Priestess. “What is your command?” In some distant part of his mind, he wondered at the sound of his voice—how it had become so guttural, so bestial.
“Their pain makes you stronger.” Priestess looked pleased. “And different, more fierce.” She looked at the two retreating men and her full upper lip lifted in a sneer. “Isn’t that interesting … Kill them.”
Aurox moved so quickly the nearest man had no chance to escape. He gored him through his chest, lifting him so that he writhed and shrieked and soiled himself.
This made Aurox even more powerful.
With a mighty toss of his head, the skewered man flew into the building to land, crumpled and silent, beside the first man.
The other man didn’t run away. Instead he pulled out a long, dangerous looking knife and charged at Aurox.
Aurox feinted to the side and then, when the man overcompensated, he stomped a cloven hoof through his foot, ripping off his face as the man fell forward.
Breathing hard, Aurox stood over the bodies of his vanquished enemies. He turned to Priestess.
“Very good,” she said in her emotionless voice. “Let us leave this place before the authorities descend.”
Aurox followed her. He walked heavily, his hoofs gouging furrows in the dirty alley. He fisted his claws at his side as he tried to make sense of the emotional storm that flowed through his body, taking with it the power that had fueled his battle frenzy.
Weak. He felt weak. And more. There was something else.
“What is it?” she snapped at him when he hesitated before entering the car again.
He shook his head. “I do not know. I feel—”
She laughed. “You don’t feel at all. You’re obviously overthinking this. My knife doesn’t feel. My gun doesn’t feel. You’re my weapon; you kill. Deal with it.”
“Yes, Priestess.” Aurox got in the car and let the world speed past him. I do not think. I do not feel. I am a weapon.
“Why are you standing here looking at me?” Priestess asked him, staring at him with eyes of green ice.
“I await your command, Priestess,” he said automatically, wondering how it was possible to have displeased her. They had just returned to her lair at the top of the magnificent building called Mayo. Aurox had walked to the balcony and simply stood there, quietly, gazing at Priestess.
She blew out a long breath. “I have no command for you at this moment. And must you always stare at me?”
Aurox looked away, focusing on the lights of the city and how they glittered alluringly against the night sky.
“I await your command, Priestess,” he repeated.
“Oh, by all the gods! Who would have known the Vessel created for me would be as mindless as he is beautiful?”
Aurox felt the change in the atmosphere before Darkness materialized from smoke and shadow and night.
“Mindless, beautiful, and deadly…”
The voice rang in his head. The enormous white bull formed fully before him. His breath was fetid, yet sweet. His gaze was horrible and wonderful at the same time. He was mystery and magick and mayhem together.
Aurox dropped to his knees before the creature.
“Get off your knees. Get up and go back there…” She waved her hand in a dismissive gesture toward the shadows that edged the far recesses of the rooftop.
“No, I’d rather he stayed. I enjoy gazing on my creations.”
Aurox didn’t know what to say. This creature commanded his attention, but Priestess commanded his body.
“Creations?” Priestess put a special emphasis on the last part of the word as she moved languidly toward the massive bull. “Do you often make gifts like this to your followers?”
The bull’s laughter was terrible, but Aurox noticed Priestess didn’t flinch at all—that instead she seemed to be drawn closer and closer to the creature as he spoke.
“How interesting! You are actually questioning me. Are you jealous, my heartless one?”
Priestess stroked the bull’s horn. “Do I need to be?”
The bull nuzzled her. Where his muzzle touched Priestess the silk of her gown shriveled, exposing smooth, naked flesh underneath.
“Tell me, what do you believe is the purpose of my gift to you?” The bull answered Priestess’s question with one of his own.
Priestess blinked and shook her head, as if she was confused. Then her gaze found Aurox, still on his knees. “My lord, his purpose is protection, and I am ready to do as you bid to thank you for him.”
“I will accept your lush offerings, but I must explain to you that Aurox is not simply a weapon of protection. Aurox has one purpose, and that is to create chaos.”
Priestess inhaled a deep, shocked breath. She blinked rapidly, and her gaze went from the bull to him, and then returned to the bull.
“Truly?” she asked in a soft, reverent voice. “Through this one creature I can command chaos?”
The bull’s white eyes were like a sick, setting moon. “Truly. He is, indeed, one creature, but his power is vast. He has the ability to leave disaster in his wake. He is the Vessel that is the manifestation of your deepest dreams, and are they not for utter and complete chaos?”
“Yes, oh yes,” Priestess breathed the words. She leaned against the bull’s neck, stroking his side.
“Ah, and what is it you will do with chaos now that it is at your command? Will you take down the cities of humans and rule as vampyre queen?”
Priestess’s smile was beautiful and horrible. “Not queen. Goddess.”
“Goddess? But there is a Goddess of Vampyres. You know that all too well. You used to be in her service.”
“You mean Nyx? The Goddess who allows her minions free choice and a will of their own? The Goddess who will not intercede because she believes so strongly in the myth of freewill?”
Aurox thought he could hear a smile in the beast’s voice, and wondered how that was possible. “I do mean Nyx, Goddess of Vampyres and Night. Would you use chaos to challenge her?”
“No. I would use chaos to defeat her. What if chaos threatens the very fabric of the world? Would Nyx not step in and defy her own rules to save her children? And by doing so wouldn’t the Goddess rescind her edict that grants humans freewill and betray herself? What would happen then to her divine reign if Nyx changes what is destined to be?”
“I cannot say, as that has never before happened.” The bull snorted as if in amusement. “But it is a surprisingly interesting question—and you know how much I enjoy being surprised.”
“I only hope that I can continue to surprise you over and over again, my lord.”
“Only is such a small word…” the bull said.
Aurox continued to kneel on the rooftop long after Priestess and the bull had departed, leaving him discarded and forgotten. He stayed where he had been left, staring up at the sky.
DESTINED. Copyright 2011 by P. C. Cast and Kristin Cast.
What People are Saying About This
“This amazing writing pair once again weaves together a world where rising darkness threatens and brave teens risk everything.” – RT Book Reviews on Destined (4 ½ stars)
“As the plot lines converge later in the novel, the action becomes both intense and thoroughly entertaining….this outing will not disappoint House of Night fans.” – Kirkus Reviews on Destined
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Loved the other books. Can't wait to read this one!
I love The House of Night Series. It is an amazing story and it entraps you from the very first book. I have read all eight books in a matter of two days because i found myself not being able to let it go and wanting to know what happens next. From the very first book Marked to book eight Awakened the story entraps you and seems to not let you go. Well at least that has been my experience with the series and November can't get here fast enough. For everyone who says the series should end I have to say that I half agree with you and half not. What i mean is, yes every series does have to come to and end but I believe it is up to the author when to end it and say that it is done. I don't think nine books is too much nor do I think Awakened was pointless, none of the books are pointless. I think they are well written and I loved how in the last three books Tempted, Burned and Awakened how they put the chapters into different point of views from certain characters to show what there thoughts were and how they really felt during certain situations. I love this series and hope it doesn't come to and end but like I have said before every series even a great one like this must come to and end but hopefully not too soon. I look very much forward to the ninth book Destined to see how Zoey goes up against Neferet and Kalona and how Heath will do fighting against the vessel to try and help save Zoey. I hope it turns out as amazing as the others and I am very confident that it will be.
Beautiful. Breathtaking. The house of night series is awesome!!! hope it's not the last one!!!
I can't wait to read this book! I really loved awakend and all of the other books and i hope that P.C. and Kristin Cast keep writing the series. I never want it to end.
Can not wait till Destined comes out. PC Cast and Kristin Cast are wonderful at what they do. I just hope they keep up the good work, and keep the house of night going. I am a fan of the House of night
This series was really great in the begining and I was excited for each new one to come out but the last two have been incredibly hard to read. They are so boring and just drag. Yes you want to make more money but end the series already, it's starting to become crap!
this book better cone out soon or ithink i might just die.......wait nope i will die!
Love this book from beginning til... waiting for my pre-order book gets to me. At first I wasn't a big fan of Zoey's insecurities or indecisive on guys. But she won me over with her growth and love for others. I can now understand her and I love her ability to love and to be loved! I'm a sucker for romance and i love my Stark! After Heath's death, now i find his bravery to let go beautiful and romantic! Still would love to see Stark and Zoey but Heath is not a bad optoin either ;o)... WAITING ANXIOUSLY
This series is a very good series of books. They are entertaining and a good read, but it needs to end. The books have started to fail in their quality in my opinion and I really think that this should be the last book in the series. These authors need to move on to new books and have a fresh start.
Im so excited to get my hands on this book. I have read the whole series and let me tellllll ya'll, there are some serious surprises and twists heading our way with Destined. Somethings you wouldn't believe!! If the ending of Awakened is any indication...hold on to your seats people!
When i first got my hands on these books i wasnt really sure i would like them. i was thinking it was going to be a bad cross of twlight and harry potter but it wasnt! i read them in a few days! i love these books and would recommended it to anyone!!!
can't wait to read it!!!
For everyone who wants these books to end, I just thought I would let you know that on her site, it clearly states that she has a twelve book contract..so it will end. It is an amazing read, and didn't take me long to finish all the books. I loved them and still do!
I thought that Destined was so much better then Awakened. I got kind of bored with Awakened that I wasn't really waiting for Destined.... But I went out and got and I read it in one day, couldn't put it down. There were things I would change but not gonna spoil it for anyone :) OH and by the way they have a total of 12 books coming out for the House of Night Series.. Hoped that helped!!!!
Before you start this book... you have to read 'Dragon's Oath'. It ties book 8 to this one and will help make sense of some of the things that happen with Dragon in this book. It is a great book. Be prepared to both cry and this 'about dang time' when you reach the end. Your gonna love it.
*Spoiler alert* if you haven't read Awakened or the other previous books for that matter, don't read this review. Destined is the 9th novel in the House of Night series and I found it lacking in some areas. At the end of Awakened, Zoey finds out through a dream that her mother had been killed. I found that for a teenage girl, she was surprisingly ok for losing a parent. Sure, a large part of the story is Zoey wanting to know what happened to her. However, if I lost my mom in a violent way, even if I was like Zoey and not close to my mother, I would still be sobbing my eyes out, not attending school the next day. Damien's grief over losing Jack seemed much more genuine and how people usually act when they've lost someone they care about. Zoey is way to interested in other things to care and, in my opinion, not normal for her character. Example, Zoey's soul shattered when Heath died. Her mother dies and she acts like it wasn't a huge deal. Sure she want to know why it happened but she doesn't even tell anyone except Stark until her grandma comes to give her the news. In other parts, the situation between the twins is also strange. I wont tell what happens but for 2 people who are as close as they are, its strange that one wouldn't understand the others pain when they are so connected. A lot of people in this book are uncharacteristic from how they've been portrayed in previous novels. Most of the House of Night novels have a twist or cliff hanger at the end. This one however was very very unexpected. Again, very uncharacteristic. I'm not sure where they are taking this but I hope its leading to a conclusion of the story. In the earlier books there were months or weeks between novels. In the last 3 novels its been days. This one starts just after she woke up from the dream of her mothers death and only spans a 5 day period. The story needs to progress or end. I would love to see a new series started of what Zoey's (or any of the other main character's) life will be like after she leaves school. These vampires live for hundreds of years. This story has span 9 novels and has only been about 1 year of a young girls life. If each book progressed in the time sense the first book came out, Zoey would be 21 now. Time to move on to bigger and better things and let this story come to an end.
Loved tthe whole series, but i wanted awakened to be the last one. When i first started reading the series, i was laughing all the time, it was so witty and great. But now, its getting darker and sadder with every book! BRING BACK THE JOY!!
I love this series but it has really started to drag on WAY too long! The last book "Awakened" was completely pointless. I've enjoyed this serious but put it to rest already! 9 books are more than enough!
Great read! Though it leaves you hanging at the end it also drawls you in from begining to the end!!!
When the series started, we were interested. Like all good series, it should have ended somewhere between volume 3 and volume 7. It is now more like an ongoing soap opera ("As the World Turns" or "Days of Our Lives"), where nothing much really changes. We quit reading several volumes ago and are just waiting for the final book. I know I will never start another series until I know the end is written.
Am i the only one whose book isnt loading.
if you are a fan of this series i recommended to you. Great book .
I really like the part where theyre walking.